Symonston will be the home of Canberra's new purpose-built RSPCA facility, with the ''one-stop shop'' to also cater for the territory's Domestic Animal Services in a project set to cost more than $10 million.
Economic Development Minister Andrew Barr was joined by an adorable bunch of puppies, the odd ferret and a well-behaved galah when making the announcement at the society's Weston headquarters, its base since 1955.
Mr Barr said the Land Development Agency had made available the land at Narrabundah Lane, with an agreement meaning the Weston site will become part of the new Molonglo Valley residential development after the relocation, expected in about 2016.
Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, responsible for the territory's animal services, said the move was much needed.
"The facilities definitely need an upgrade - I think it's really going to improve the animal welfare outcomes for the animals in the territory, and also make it a whole lot easier for the public to know one place to go," Mr Rattenbury said.
The facility will accommodate the two agencies' animal welfare, regulatory and compliance roles, including vet services, locating strayed animals, dealing with surrendered animals and housing injured wildlife.
Plans and a definitive timeline are still to be decided, but Mr Barr said the government's commitment would be "north of $10 million".
Mr Rattenbury considered the government's maximum commitment would be about $15 million, with the location chosen the most appropriate available.
"It seems to be the best site, it's not far from where Domestic Animal Services is currently located, and we need somewhere that's a little bit away from the residents, you can hear the noise."
RSPCA chief executive Michael Linke said the confirmation of the move from the much-loved but ageing Weston site was a "happy-sad day", but would allow improved response to the needs of the growing Canberra community.
"The new purpose-built animal care centre will enable RSPCA ACT and the ACT government to deliver animal welfare and regulatory services in a safer, more-efficient, and responsive working environment," Mr Linke said.
"We'll be looking at seven-day-a-week dog and puppy training, we'll have a much better vet clinic to ensure we can do many more surgeries on animals in a purpose-built vet clinic."